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The core of his force numbered only seven hundred, true enough; most of the troops in Eritrea were needed to guard against Ottoman or Egyptian assault. But he’d added to them. The Ethiopian emperor had refused to join the war – a sensible decision, the colonel was forced to admit – but he’d allowed his subjects to volunteer for the Russian army, and had permitted Russian officers to go recruiting. And once Mikoyan had got his force across the Bab el-Mandeb, he’d done more recruiting among the clansmen, many of whom had no love for their British or Omani overlords. By the time he was done with his pass through the Hadhramaut, he had twice the force with which he’d landed. The courtier-generals in St. Petersburg might frown at his making common cause with Mussulmen, but it was a colonels’ war here, not a general’s, and victory would forgive all.

He wouldn’t surprise the British completely – that was too much to ask for, in a country where rumors spread between clans faster than any telegraph. No doubt, by now, the British were strengthening their fortifications and screaming for reinforcements from India. But if Mikoyan got there before the reinforcements did electricity out in one room, he’d have more than enough strength to take the city. As he’d told Tewolde, the most important battle was with time.

Friedrich Grünbaum had never imagined that he’d miss the Silesian front. The North Germans knew well how important it was to protect their factories, and they’d defended them fanatically, making the Kaiserlich und K ö niglich regiments pay in blood for every kilometer. The Prussians were outnumbered, but they were far better trained and many of them were veterans; for volunteers like Grünbaum, the front had been a meat-grinder.

The Italians had sat on the defensive in the 5 gases first months of the war, but they could only resist the British and German calls for an attack for so long, and they’d launched an October offensive in the mountains. It was trench fighting there, like it was in Silesia, but that was the least of it; the machine guns were almost trivial next to the biting cold, the irregular food shipments and the frozen mire in which they had to live and fight. Since Grünbaum’s regiment had arrived early in November, he’d mercifully avoided being wounded in battle, but the frostbite was inescapable; he’d lost two toes to gangrene, and counted himself lucky not to have lost a leg.

The artillery was pounding now; he’d heard that the regiment was going to counterattack. The mountain guns were hitting the Italians with everything they had. Grünbaum didn’t have to imagine what it must be like in the Italian trenches; he’d suffered the same himself, when the shells and poison gas were coming from the other direction. The wind was wrong for the Italians to use gas right now, but 10 gases and their uses their guns were answering the Austrians’ artillery, and the ground shook with the shells’ impact.

The opposing trench was there at last. Grünbaum wrapped a cloth around his mouth and nose – he knew from experience that the gas might not have entirely dissipated – and felt a sting in his eyes. But the Italians had suffered worse; some were lying inert where the gas had overcome their lungs, and others had been weakened. The soldier who contested Grünbaum’s entry lifted his bayonet, but only half-heartedly; Grünbaum pushed it aside with his rifle stock and stabbed forward. All around him, the Italian soldiers who had not been killed were fleeing or surrendering. The lucky ones were able to scramble out of the trench and run to their secondary line; others were cut down.

With the others of his regiment, he braced himself against the back of the trench to fire at the fleeing enemy, but now there was fire coming from the second trench line, and a wave of Italians was coming over the top to retake what the Austrians had seized. Grünbaum did a quick mental count and realized that there weren’t enough soldiers here to hold them. The officers must evidently have thought the same thing, because they began shouting at the regiment to pull back; they did so gratefully, taking the captured Italian weapons with them, while a rear guard covered the retreat.

Later gas x coupon 2015 that evening, Grünbaum wondered who had won the battle. The Italians had suffered heavier losses, and they wouldn’t resume their offensive along this line until they’d had time to regroup; in all likelihood, they’d stay where they were until spring. He supposed that was enough to call it an Austrian victory. But as he wrapped his sodden greatcoat around him and tried to remember what warmth was like, it didn’t feel that way.

“I don’t know how much longer that will mollify him,” Fleury said, and to tell the truth, neither did Leclair. He’d sailed into uncharted waters by declaring war as a caretaker prime minister in the first place, and then by postponing the election indefinitely; everything he’d done was within the letter of the law, but he knew that there was an unwritten constitution as well as the written one. He’d imagined that electricity year 6 the delay would only be a few months, and then victory would atone for all, but victory wasn’t coming as quickly as he’d hoped.

Certainly, France was winning handily in Libya and Grão Pará; Tunisia was in French hands, the Ottomans had fallen back to Cyrenaica, and the Franco-Brazilian forces had taken Belém and pushed a hundred kilometers inland. But it was equally true that the French army was losing in Asia. It was nearly impossible to resupply the Indochina garrison in the face of the Royal Navy; by now, the British had pushed the French army out of Upper Burma, and Siam was starting to waver in its commitment to the alliance.

The Germans had almost been overwhelmed, but not quite, and that made all the difference in the world. A quarter of the North German Confederation’s soil was under occupation, its industries had been damaged, its dead were in the hundreds of thousands, but it wasn’t retreating any more. The German soldiers’ blood and the snows of winter had bought enough time to build a nearly impregnable trench line, there were more and more British and Indian reinforcements arriving, and there was nothing France could do to keep them from landing. And they were unbowed; he’d sent feelers out to see if Wilhelm would accept a peace with no indemnity or territorial losses in exchange for recognition of French hegemony over the southern German states, and they’d been rejected out of hand.

Leclair snorted, but the joke was all too close to home. Two of his gsa 2016 catalog greatest frustrations in this war were that Belgium refused to join it and Spain seemed like it might. He needed Spain much more as a friendly neutral power through which France could trade than as a military ally, especially now that Vienna and St. Petersburg were screaming for loans. The Spanish government knew that too, and didn’t want to fight, but the backbenchers were listening to the Pope and their pressure was becoming hard to resist. The Papal Legion wasn’t a bad notion – Spaniards were signing up in droves, and Leclair could send them to the trenches come spring – but aside from that, he’d be much happier if the Pope would just shut his mouth.

And Belgium. The Belgians ought to be French allies – they were Catholic, and France had done them quite a few favors over the years – but they’d thus far deemed neutrality the better part of valor, and the clerical parties weren’t strong enough to shift things. Leclair put his finger on the map in front of him, and drew a line through Belgium – a line of marching French troops, one that would flank the North German trenches and arrive at the gates of the Ruhr – but that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon.

Click to expand…As Admiral Matt says, Lincoln was presented with a workable design for a chlorine-gas shell, and chemical warfare was considered realistic enough in the 1890s that the Hague Convention explicitly banned it. I hadn’t been aware of the earlier instances that Thande mentions, but I’m not surprised by them either. In any event, the delivery systems used in World War I in OTL were simple enough that they could easily have been duplicated with 1890s technology. Gas shells appeared gas prices going up june 2016 within the first year of our Great War, and I’m using approximately the same timetable for this one.

I once described TTL’s Great War as WW1 with machine guns, trenches and poison gas but without armor or aircraft. I’ve since been persuaded that primitive aircraft (both heavier and lighter than air), as well as proto-armor vehicles such as self-propelled artillery or armored troop carriers, might be possible by the end of the war, although not with sufficient numbers or sophistication to be a game-changer like armor was in OTL’s war. Gas won’t be a game-changer either – it’s unreliable (what happens when the wind changes?) and relatively easy to defend against.